Bozzetto for George Washington

scale model of sculpture of seated George Washington

Antonio Canova (1757–1822)
Bozzetto for George Washington, 1817
20 1/8 x 9  x 17 3/4 in. (51 x 23 x 45 cm)
Gypsotheca e Museo Antonio Canova, Possagno
Fondazione Canova onlus, Possagno; photo Fabio Zonta


In December 1817, Canova produced a second three-dimensional sketch for the George Washington, which he described as “much superior to my first idea.” The body is more upright and the position of the legs reversed. Instead of a toga, the president wears ancient armor. He is shown writing, as in the two drawings, and with a crown and scepter on the floor, having relinquished his command. On a tablet is the Latin inscription LEX / PATRIA / LIBERTAS (Law, Homeland, Liberty).

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